Strategic Innovation and Design Thinking

Explore the role of creativity and apply the principles of design thinking to make better decisions. Discover how innovation can power your organization's strategies and business models.

Sessions Print this Page


Innovation is one of the strongest levers for growth in business organizations. Identifying such opportunities is a key business process. But it’s not enough to use design thinking to bring new alternatives to the table. Leading organizations understand how to generate more and better alternatives and how to evaluate their likelihood of successful implementation. Participants in this program will be introduced to a new model for evaluating innovation and linking it directly to business value. The process recognizes and depends not only on creative ideation but also on the practical experience of those involved in implementation, engaging together in a cycle of refinement to bring forward the most promising ideas with a clear understanding of the primary drivers of risk and value for any new venture. This program allows participants to learn tools and techniques and then immediately apply them through a case exercise woven throughout the program.

This class is available for university credit. Please contact Lynn Slattery at or 512.471.5893 for more information.

Strategic Decision and Risk Management

Clarify problems, explore available options, develop a structured framework, understand the impact, and commit to your choice.

Two & Half Day Concentrated Program

Registration begins 30 minutes before class starts. Classes beginning on Monday start at 8:00 am and conclude at 12:00pm on Wednesday. Classes beginning on Wednesday start at 1:00 pm and conclude at 5:00 pm on Friday.

Strategic Decision Professionals

Our partnership with SDG combines UT's academic research and SDG's real-world experience in decision consulting to create an unmatched learning experience.


  • Identify hurdles to your own individual creativity and look at problems in new ways
  • Analyze unmet needs and areas of opportunity that, if solved, could bring value to all stakeholders
  • Think broadly about problem definition, overcome constraints placed on teams too early in the problem-solving process and consider options from various points of view
  • Apply design thinking to a diverse set of strategic problems, such as defining new markets, shaping corporate strategy, and transforming your organization
  • Look outside the traditional boundaries of the issues to understand business opportunities and perspectives in other parts of the industry
  • Utilize a methodology to identify and separate constraints and tactical issues from the strategic questions that require your focus
  • Generate multiple alternative solutions for addressing customers’ unmet needs
  • Explore an Innovation Competency Cycle that nurtures the open-ended nature of creativity and leverages the practical nature of business analysis
  • Discover techniques for iterative learning and idea sharing, as well as a process and rationale for working on the most valuable or difficult parts of a problem first
  • Examine several well-known innovative companies and how they have encouraged innovation
  • Synthesize and present the implications of your chosen alternative, describing your vision, why end-users and the business should be excited by the concept, and how it addresses the company’s most critical value measures
  • Discuss how to implement the Innovation Competency Cycle within your organization and explore how to overcome the most common structural and cultural obstacles you may encounter

Additional Information

CEUs: Participants earn 1.75 CEUs and/or 17.5 CPEs for this course. A certificate of completion will be presented from Texas Executive Education.
Course Credits: 1.50
Hotel Information: Texas Executive Education classes qualify for discounted hotel room rates at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on a limited basis. Discount code will be provided on the course materials page after class registration is complete.


Carl Spetzler

Dr. Carl Spetzler co-founded Strategic Decisions Group in 1981 and currently serves as chairman and CEO. He is a leader in strategy and innovation processes, helping corporate leaders cope with the lack of explicit strategic alternatives, deal with the complexities of uncertainty and risk over long time horizons, and achieve lasting change.

Continue Reading
Liz Rogers

Liz Rogers is a design lecturer at the University of Texas with the Center for integrated Design. She has over 16 years of experience working in the design industry, most recently at IBM, where she works as a senior design researcher, helping product teams design compelling products and experiences based on a deep understanding of user needs, motivations, and behaviors.

Continue Reading
Stephen Walls

Stephen Walls is a Senior Lecturer in the Marketing Department at The University of Texas at Austin. He teaches courses on Marketing Principles, Brand Management, Digital/Social/Mobile Marketing, and Design Thinking within the BBA and MBA programs, along with the Masters in Engineering Management program. He has received a number of teaching awards since joining the McCombs faculty in 2002. Stephen also works on several initiatives across the college, including the design of new graduate business education center, Robert B. Rowling Hall, and the development of McCombs’ first online foundation courses.

Continue Reading

Upcoming Sessions

There are no In-Person sessions scheduled at this time. For more information about the next class date, please contact us at or 512-471-5893.